A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

Absolute space/time Term Analysis

The ideas of absolute space and time came to the forefront of scientific debate only when challenged. Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion suggested that space was not absolute because objects do not have a natural state of rest. If all objects are in motion, one way or another, that leaves no stable point to measure space against, and also means that space is relative for every observer, with reference to their own position and velocity. The same was later found to be true for time, after it was discovered that light has a fixed speed. Time is not absolute because of the effects of gravity, which draws energy from all particles and waves as they resist its attractive force. The concept of the new arena of activity that has no absolute space or time is called space-time.

Absolute space/time Quotes in A Brief History of Time

The A Brief History of Time quotes below are all either spoken by Absolute space/time or refer to Absolute space/time. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Search for a Unifying Theory of the Universe Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam edition of A Brief History of Time published in 1988.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Newton was very worried by this lack of absolute position, or absolute space, as it was called, because it did not accord with his idea of an absolute God. In fact, he refused to accept lack of absolute space, even though it was implied by his laws.

Related Characters: Sir Isaac Newton
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:
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Absolute space/time Term Timeline in A Brief History of Time

The timeline below shows where the term Absolute space/time appears in A Brief History of Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
The Danger of Stubbornness  Theme Icon
Science and Religion Theme Icon
This idea worried Newton, as a lack of absolute space didn't agree with his idea of an absolute God. He refused to accept the idea,... (full context)
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
Aristotle and Newton both believed in absolute time , meaning the interval of time between two events could be definitely measured. This meant... (full context)
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
...Albert Einstein suggested there was no need for the idea of ether if you accepted time was not absolute . Henri Poincaré, a French mathematician, made a similar point soon after. (full context)
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
...from another, but not the necessarily the distance between those points, because the idea of absolute space had been abandoned. If the time was constant, then the speed of light would have... (full context)
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
Newton's laws ended the idea of absolute space and relativity ended the idea of absolute time. If twins separated, with one living on... (full context)
Chapter 10
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
When it comes to long-distance space travel, because time is not absolute , an interstellar or intergalactic journey would appear to take much less time to the... (full context)